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Are Probiotics Good For Interstitial Cystitis & What To Do If I Have A Flare-Up?

There is also some evidence of an association between urologic pain syndromes, such as IC/BPS (Bladder pain syndrome) and CP/CPPS (Chronic pelvic pain syndrome), with non-celiac gluten sensitivity in some people.(1)

Most literature supports the belief that interstitial cystitis symptoms are associated with a defect in the bladder epithelium lining, allowing irritating substances in the urine to penetrate the bladder—essentially, a breakdown of the bladder lining (also known as the adherence theory).(1)

Are Probiotics Good For Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is the condition in which there are micro and macro abrasions in the lining of urinary bladder due to which the wall of the urinary bladder gets inflamed. It results in scarring of the epithelial lining and shrinking of the bladder leading to a reduction in the capacity of the bladder of holding urine.

Since there is no infection involved in the most acceptable theory of causation of interstitial cystitis, there is almost no role found by the researches for the probiotics in the treatment of interstitial cystitis. So, giving probiotics may only help in the alimentary system and increase the absorption of food and other items (drugs) which may sometime indirectly be beneficial for the patient but there has been no direct relevance found in between interstitial cystitis and probiotics.

What To Do For An Interstitial Cystitis Flare-Up?

There are a variety of causes that can lead to a flare-up of the symptoms caused by interstitial cystitis. To treat those flare-ups, it is very much necessary to understand their causes and their duration. Few of the causes which can cause a flare-up of interstitial cystitis are dietary factors such as large consumption of carbonated beverages, medicines especially containing supplements and vitamins, exercise and sexual intercourse which can increase the pressure on bladder, stress and hormonal imbalance which may disrupt the neuronal balance of the patient, long trips and prolonged sitting, tight clothing, etc.(2)

The flare-up of this condition can occur at any time and is characterized by sudden worsening of the bladder symptoms that were already appearing. The duration of the flare-up may range variably and also can be both predictable and unpredictable.

The treatment of flare-up depends upon its origin. If it is related to dietary factors, then the causative food items are avoided and the patient should drink a lot of water to dilute the urine and reduce the effect of the dietary item. If it is related to sexual intercourse or a long trip including a phase of prolonged sitting then it can be avoided by muscle relaxants and heating pad to calm the surrounding muscles. Exercise should be avoided in such situations because it can worsen the condition.

If the interstitial cystitis flare-up is caused by stress and hormonal imbalance then it is a short time and self-limiting phenomenon which do not require any medical treatment but only bed rest is sufficient. Tight clothing should be avoided to reduce the frequency of flare-ups.(3)

Kegel exercises and other pelvic strengthening techniques are nowadays followed because it has been shown that these are very helpful to decrease the symptoms of interstitial cystitis and also increase the quality of life of the patient suffering from it.(4)


Even after widespread research, there is not much data available on the effect of probiotics on the condition of interstitial cystitis. Probiotics are not known to directly affect the patient in relieving the symptoms of interstitial cystitis.

A flare-up of the interstitial cystitis is a very common phenomenon that can be encountered at any moment because of simple causative factors. Special attention should be given to eliminating almost all of the causative factors to reduce the frequency of flare-ups.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 8, 2020

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